Mayor Alexander, council member Sheffield top cash on hand, fundraising in City Council race

Published 12:05 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — Reports due at the end of September show the campaigns of Mayor Karen Alexander and council member Tamara Sheffield leading in cash on hand and fundraising among City Council candidates.

The 35-day reports include all campaign finance activity among candidates from July 1 to Sept. 21. Reports were due on Sept. 28.

Alexander’s campaign reports beginning the period with $3,076 and ending it with $13,756 cash on hand, which is money left after any expenses during the period. In total, she’s raised $14,512. Among her biggest donations is $1,000 from Global Contact Services CEO Greg Alcorn; $1,000 from Gwinn Barr, a founding member of Rowan County Crosby Scholars Community Partnership; $400 from Philip Byrd of N.C. Farm Bureau; $1,000 from Salisbury resident Thomas Overcash; $500 from Fred Stanback and separate $500 donations from various members of the Fisher family. Mona Lisa Wallace of Wallace & Graham also contributed $250, along with $200 from Victor Wallace of Wallace Realty.

Alexander also loaned $751 to her campaign after being informed of a deficit by the Rowan County Board of Elections.

Salisbury resident Ed Norvell donated $250 to Alexander’s campaign and $200 to Sheffield’s.

Alexander’s campaign reports spending a little more than $4,500 in expenses such as cards, yard signs and web services.

Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins, who is challenging Alexander in the city’s first mayoral race, reports beginning the period with $200 cash on hand and ending it with $8,070. Heggins has raised $7,870, with $500 coming from the Committee to Elect Graig Meyer, a Democrat who represents District 50 in the state House, and another $500 from UAW North Carolina VPAC. UAW, or United Auto Workers, is a labor union representing American workers.

Among Heggins’ biggest donations is $500 from Yvonne Holley, a Democrat who challenged Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in the 2020 election; $500 from Liesa Montag-Siegel of Salisbury; $500 from Terri LeGrand, the director of enrollment integrity and optimization at Wake Forest University and $200 from Rocky Cabagnot of Hull & Chandler PA.

Most of Heggins’ individual contributions didn’t exceed $100 and were paid via ActBlue, an online fundraising software program that helps Democratic and progressive candidates seeking office.

Heggins spent about $3,980 on campaign expenses, including Zoom meeting charges and printing supplies.

Sheffield, who is seeking a third term, reported $771 cash on hand to begin the period and ended it with $8,630. Some of Alexander’s donors also contributed to Sheffield’s campaign. Alcorn contributed $2,000, Mona Lisa Wallace contributed $200, Whitney Wallace Williams contributed $250 and Stanback donated $100. Sheffield also received a $552 in-kind donation from Shari Graham for campaign flyers and business cards, $1,000 from Downtown Salisbury Inc. board member Samantha Haspel, $250 from Gerry Wood of Gerry Wood Automotive and $250 from Steven Fisher of F&M Bank.

Sheffield spent a little more than $2,100 in campaign expenditures, including $547 in advertising with the Salisbury Post and $481 in campaign materials from 24HourWristbands in Houston. Sheffield also spent a little more than $600 in membership fees with both the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and Civitan Club of Salisbury.

Followed by Sheffield is Anthony Smith, a pastor at Mission House Church. Smith reports ending the period with $3,666 cash on hand after raising $9,697. Like Heggins, Smith also received $500 from the UAW North Carolina VPAC. South Main Book Company owner Alissa Redmond contributed an in-kind donation of $554 for T-shirts. Another $2,000 in-kind donation from Alana Levandoski, an artist from Manitoba, Canada, funded music for Smith’s campaign. An in-kind donation of $605 from Yolanda Meade Byrd, an adjunct professor at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work, funded T-shirts, mugs, table cloths and face masks.

Other donations to Smith’s campaign include $200 from Ryan Maxwell Stowe of Stowe Law Firm PLLC, $100 from Rowan County Literacy Council Director Larry Harry and $200 from Robert Johnsen III, a teacher with Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

Smith spent a little more than $2,000 in campaign expenses, including car magnets, music and campaign videos, pens, buttons and bumper stickers.

Rowan County Democratic Party Chairman Geoffrey Hoy donated $300 each to Heggins, Sheffield and Smith.

Council candidate Nalini Joseph began the period with $90 cash on hand and ends it with $5,802. Of the $6,560 she’s raised, $200 comes from Rowan County Republican Women, $2,800 from Salisbury resident Ronald Howard, $600 from Salisbury resident Barbara Center, $250 from Steve Fisher of F&M Bank and $500 from Harold Knox Roberts Jr. of Titlewide Insurance. Robert Wallace of Wallace Realty also donated $200 to Joseph’s campaign.

She reports spending a little more than $800 in campaign expenses, including a fundraising event at Morgan Ridge Railwalk Eatery and other web services charges.

A 35-day report is not available for council candidate Jessica Cloward, a broker for Lantern Realty and Development, but she did file a 10-day report in July. That report, which spanned until July 27, shows $1,844 cash on hand after raising $2,125. Among those donations is $200 from Rowan County Republican Women, $330 from RSS tutor Jeffrey Martinez and $500 from an Oklahoma substitute teacher.

Cloward reports spending more than $130 at Harwood Signs for campaign materials.

Harry McLaughlin Jr., owner of McLaughlin’s Grocery Store on West Monroe Street, filed a certification of threshold in July, which states he doesn’t intend to raise or spend more than $1,000 total on his campaign and therefore doesn’t need to report it. Jonathan Barbee also filed the certification of threshold.

Council member David Post, who is seeking a third term, reports starting and ending the reporting period with $513 cash on hand. Post said he doesn’t accept campaign donations. His only listed expense at this time is the $10 filing fee with Rowan County Board of Elections.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

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